Los Angeles

Arthur Secunda

Santa Barbara Mu­seum of Art

This show represents the artist’s first one-man exhibition at this Museum. Secunda treads a deliberately precarious path in seeking to amal­gamate several diverse elements found in contemporary art. For in his paintings he has brought together two rather distinct traditions, that of a loose, free and highly spontaneous technique char­acterized by the use of a heavy im­pasto, and a very disciplined division of the picture plane into precise rectil­inear forms. Thus one is confronted on the one hand with a technique which comes very close to being the very subject matter of the work and on the other hand one is aware of the intel­lectually planned nature of the work. At times these two aspects collide and destroy any coherence or unity in the painting. The organized geometric basis of such a painting as Reflection of Venice comes off very well, but the overly thick impast surface simply suggests a form of conspicuous consump­tion. But when these forces are successfully merged as in For Christmas or Sea Treasure, the results are in­deed impressive.

––David Gebhard